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Local airport control tower on list to close

March 5, 2013

Sequestration just hit close to home....

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(43)

Woolrich

Mar-06-13 5:07 PM

There is no cuts. Its a game the Democrats are playing. Its the same as if you told your wife you were gonna buy a $50k car but decided to purchase a $30k car and proclaim that you cut $20k in expenses. All the while never having enough money to purchase any car. Its no joke, that's how the Democrats are spinning this lie.

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tofani66

Mar-05-13 8:06 PM

Francine....we agree with you, whole-heartedly. First, the airline can't just pull out...they tried a couple years ago, there's a federal statue in place that requires service due to the airport location. and Gavin...we would absolutely LOVE to see some sort of competetion of any kind from the airlines here! The reason it's the way it is is because of the lack of it!

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outten

Mar-05-13 8:03 PM

There is actually 5 of us and one is the manager who spends most of his time in his office.The airlines aren't going to pull out.In fact, the airport is trying to bring in more commercial airlines but without a tower the airlines aren't interested.

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gavinf56

Mar-05-13 7:41 PM

I guess I should elaborate that my issues with the local airport have nothing to do with the facility or the atc's, but rather the airline that services it and their employees at the Philadelphia terminal. Horrible service.

If the local airport were to again provide service to the Pittsburgh airport, I would use it again.

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tofani66

Mar-05-13 7:30 PM

And...we haven"t "All been there". There is a specific reason why all these airports requested Control Towers to aid in their operation. We serve a real purpose towards safety for the flying public. I grant you that this particular airport has seen some lean days in the recent past. But with the new FBO, and the increase in traffic due to the influx of the natural gas industry, I can assure you...and the rest of the local population that we are most definitely providing a valuable service to this community. Feel free to stop by the Tower sometime and ask the Manager for a tour.

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tofani66

Mar-05-13 7:23 PM

Mr. Murdock, I can very much appreciate your opinion about things...seeing things from your perspective. The problem is that your perspective is from a few years ago. Your observation about the biplane incident is partially correct. I happened to be on position at the time. I assure you that the phone was pulled and emergency services were notified before the aircraft...a Pitts Special...stopped moving. The fact that it took EMS 10-15 minutes to show up had nothing to do with the Tower or it's proficiency. Additionally...you're claims of being put on the runway with another aircraft landing could very well be accurate...about 8-9 years ago. This Tower is not authorized to do that anymore, because the "Line Up And Wait" procedure requires an extensive waiver process which the management deemed not necessary for our operation.

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outten

Mar-05-13 6:44 PM

no, there was no tower there before they built the new one a year or so ago.

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gavinf56

Mar-05-13 6:30 PM

Correct me if I am wrong, but State College had a tower before they built the new tower. The new tower was built because of the expansion plans for that airport and surrounding area.

I haven't flown out of IPT since 2005, opting instead for the greater flexibility the State College airport has to offer.

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outten

Mar-05-13 6:24 PM

Murdock, yes there are airports with no towers. Will safety be negatively affected by losing these towers? Absolutely! That is a fact. If safety wasn't adversely affected then why did they just build a tower in State College. The facts are there, airports are safer with controllers in the tower, period. We provide positive control to our airports, we are an extra set of eyes. We have the quickest access to emergency personnel to respond to aircraft emergencies. We also, in effect, babysit many pilots and especially student pilots who most of the time haven't got a clue on their position, much less how to talk on the radio. Believe whatever kool aid the government is giving out right now. Lesson that I am learning all the time, never trust the government or what they tell you.

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outten

Mar-05-13 6:13 PM

3 towers have closed in the last 30 years.Why only 3? Now in one month we will close 173. Another 16 will close the end of September. The only reason they are closing the towers now is because the FAA wants to protect their own ass,and the contractors take the hit. The FAA realized how vital the contract tower program has been. Thats why the program has lasted this long. Every study done on the program has shown we are better , more cost efficient and have a greater safety record than FAA towers. So when the sequester came out , the FAA naturally protected their own people first hence the reason why 75% of the FAA cuts were to contractors. Basically this is dereliction of duty by the Congress and the FAA.None of them have the mental capacity to add 2 and 2. Just look at the federal deficit and waste .ie.. Sending hundreds of thousands of dollars to Buffalo to study the sexual habits of college females.The National Institutes of Health spent $442,340 to study male prostitutes in Nam.

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RogerMurdock

Mar-05-13 6:04 PM

outten, the point that I was trying to make was simply that commercial traffic and airports without controllers are nothing new and that the flying public will likely not be able to tell the difference between flying into an airport with manned or un-manned control towers. I can understand that you might be apprehensive about your impending furlough, but that is simply reality. We've all been there and you will survive. At least you have about 2 yrs of unemployment pay to look forward to. The most I ever had was about 30 wks and I too survived. Good luck to you.

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outten

Mar-05-13 5:51 PM

Murdock, I simply can't believe these insane comments you make. You said that planes have been flying into it as far back as you can remember. There is an important difference in saying that they fly into the mountain and differentiating routine emergencies where pilots have mechanical issues and go down.My point is that ATC can help eliminate pilots making bad decisions but if an airplane has mechanical failure the controllers can't prevent that.However, during an emergency, we can ring out the crash phone and notify rescue personnel much quicker than if we aren't there. Also, to say that the pilot just walked by the tower and 30 minutes went by before the tower realized it is just plain wrong.This isn't about having thin skin, its about giving out the facts and not these crazy hair-brain statements your saying.If the airport and the FAA didn't believe that the flying public were safer with a tower then why did they fund the program almost 30 years.

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RogerMurdock

Mar-05-13 5:19 PM

outten, another cute story was the time that a biplane crashed on take-off between the college and Textron hangers and ended up upside down right next to the runway. The pilot got himself out of the airplane, walked east to the hangers at the east end of the field, walked right past the control tower and the controllers never saw him and didn't know that an aircraft had crashed in full sight of them for at least half an hour. Please don't say I don't know what I'm talking about, I was there and know what I saw. Like I said, everyone has a bad day now and then and I still never felt any safer just because there was someone sitting in the control tower.

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RogerMurdock

Mar-05-13 5:10 PM

outten, I know for a fact that in the late 80's or early 90's an aircraft, a Mooney I think, landed in the trees just opposite the airport. He ended up upside down sort of high in the trees. He was fine at that point. He broke his leg extricating himself from the aircraft and trees and died of exposure after getting to the ground. For the record, I didn't say that they were flying into the mountain "all the time" I said for as long as I can remember. As far as the clearances we were given, all I know is that if we had followed the directions that the controller had given us there would have been dire consequences. Don't be so thin-skinned. Everyone makes a mistake or has a bad day now and then, even the people in the tower. In both instances we explained our reservations to the controller and we all had a chuckle about it. We also used to have trouble with other pilots reporting their position relative to the airport, sometimes they weren't even close and cost us a few gray

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outten

Mar-05-13 4:30 PM

Anyone who reads this Murdock guy needs to just ignore him.He doesn't know what he is talking about.To say that aircraft fly into the ridge all the time is just ridiculous.There hasn't been one plane crash into the ridge since 1959. Just amazing the claims of this guy.

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outten

Mar-05-13 4:25 PM

Everyone in the IPT tower has over 20 plus years of experience. We have all worked at many towers in the past.I have worked at 8 towers including the busiest Air Force facility in the country with fighters. I have worked 5 contract towers. It is easy for you to make claims about opposite direction operations but there is no way to show exactly what you are talking about. I will teach you 2 words in ATC though.Anticipated separation. What it means is a controller doesnt have to withhold landing clearances or takeoffs if the controller anticipates that the approved separation will be maintained. Every tower uses this technique.Can you imagine if DCA or ORD withheld clearances until the previously cleared a/c was down. It can't be done.

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RogerMurdock

Mar-05-13 4:13 PM

outten, one of the reasons why aircraft might keep flying into the mountain is because of the Approach Plates. The last one I saw had a caution that there was a mountain 3 miles from the airport. I have it on good authority that the mountain is much closer. I know for a fact that the look-out on Rte 15 is only about 1.5 miles line of sight from the college hanger which would put the mountain considerably less than a mile from runway 9-27 which really doesn't give you much room for error. As always, the pilot is the person responsible for the safe conduct of any flight, not someone sitting in the control tower. btw, thank you and your fellow controllers for your military service. I served in the Marines for 9 years.

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Justin1

Mar-05-13 3:54 PM

Isn't Williamsport supposed to be one of the fastest growing cities in the country? Thanks to the gas development? Doesn't Tom Marino know what this will do to Williamsport's reputation as the epicenter of energy development in the "Texas" of the east coast?? haha.. Now let's see what our corporate gas buddies can do to pull strings to improve our local economy.

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RogerMurdock

Mar-05-13 3:50 PM

outten, by the same token I've been in aircraft where the controller cleared us to land on 12 about 30 seconds after he had cleared another plane to land on 30. We declined his offer of a head-on. Another time the controller told us to turn onto 27 as a commuter was landing on 9, again we declined his offer. There were other instances where more than one aircraft was cleared for the same runway at the same time. Us and somebody else. Sorry, but I never felt any safer because there was someone in the control tower telling us what he thought we should do. As for the mountain, aircraft have been flying into it for as long as I can remember, with or without someone sitting in the control tower.

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RogerMurdock

Mar-05-13 3:50 PM

outten, by the same token I've been in aircraft where the controller cleared us to land on 12 about 30 seconds after he had cleared another plane to land on 30. We declined his offer of a head-on. Another time the controller told us to turn onto 27 as a commuter was landing on 9, again we declined his offer. There were other instances where more than one aircraft was cleared for the same runway at the same time. Us and somebody else. Sorry, but I never felt any safer because there was someone in the control tower telling us what he thought we should do. As for the mountain, aircraft have been flying into it for as long as I can remember, with or without someone sitting in the control tower.

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outten

Mar-05-13 3:20 PM

In 1959 a commuter aircraft crashed into the mountain ridge about 1-2 miles southeast of the airport. Soon after, the tower was constructed and been operational ever sense for over 50 years. The tower is needed here and many other facilities but the government would rather punish us, the middle class, for their failure to handle money and eliminate waste. Instead they sign the sequester into law when both sides said it was a dumb and stupid way to go about it and had no intentions of letting it pass. Yet here we are losing our jobs while Congress takes their 3 day weekends and works 126 days for the whole year.My profession is ATC. I have done it my whole life over 24 years.Thanks to these corrupt politicians in DC, my profession is virtually gone. Very few towers will remain open after the sequester. The government screws up and the working middle class pays for it. 3 of us at this tower are also veterans of the military. The government should be ashamed. I am ashamed of my govt.

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outten

Mar-05-13 3:01 PM

As a controller at IPT let me give everyone a little ATC 101. We have usually 4 arrivals and 4 departures /day from UsAir flights. This closing will have a negative effect on the safety in the airspace. New York Center is not required to provide any services to VFR aircraft.Even if they could ,they can't see below 3000' because of the terrain which renders them null and void to provide ATC services within the towers airspace. Our setup is unique because of the ridge just south.That funnels everyone around the north side and also when aircraft depart the airspace they want to leave that same way as the inbounds come in which is very dangerous because every a/c is in the same vicinity. The drop in safety WILL happen with no tower. Just 2 weeks ago I had to take action to keep a plane from turning into the ridge because of low visibility. Those who think ZNY, New York Center will just take over and everything will be fine are just ignorant and plain wrong.

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djwheil

Mar-05-13 2:58 PM

that is such a crock of bs. There is actually no cuts, its only the amount of increase over last year will be lower.

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RogerMurdock

Mar-05-13 2:07 PM

Francine, Where does it say in the article or FAA regs that there can be no commercial flights without a manned tower? My understanding of the system is that the carrier will be under New York Center control until they enter KIPT airspace where they declare their intentions on Unicom, fit themselves into traffic and land. Then vice verse when then leave. I don't think there's really any big deal. There are plenty of non-controlled airports around that accept commercial traffic.

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BornHere

Mar-05-13 2:02 PM

The Lifeline Assistance Program started in the 80's under Ronald Reagan, then in 1996 Clinton signed the Act into law either for a cell phone or land line for low-income families, and the program continued under Bush.

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